Tuesday 16 May, 2017

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (15:39): I rise today to recognise a number of community events I have had the privilege of attending in recent times, to recognise the hard work of volunteers and service groups in the community in my electorate, as well as to showcase a number of important causes. I had the pleasure of joining the Eastern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service for the launch of their new domestic violence education centre. It is a community project that provides education and support to women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.

I want to acknowledge, firstly, the Eastern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service for their tireless work in our community. We cannot thank them enough for the work they do every day in combating domestic violence in our community and also helping to bring those who have been affected by domestic violence out from under it. I wish to thank them and wish them every success in that project, which has the potential to do wonderful things for our community.

Another great event I was fortunate enough to attend was the Italian Community Volunteer Awards 2017 held on 9 May and hosted by the Comitato Assistenza Agli Italiani group in South Australia, or CO.AS.IT SA, as they are otherwise known. 'Give happy, live happy' was the theme for this year's National Volunteer Week. The event was certainly a great success and a number of members attended. I would like to acknowledge the exceptional way the group celebrated and recognised the hardworking volunteers within the Italian community in South Australia. I, too, take the opportunity to thank all those people who continue day in, day out, to freely give their time for the benefit of the South Australian community.

I wish to specifically recognise the team at CO.AS.IT for putting on such a great event, including Carlo Tropiano. I also wish to recognise Mrs Franca Antonello, former president of CO.AS.IT, who was awarded life membership at the event. Mrs Antonello's achievements to date and service to the community are certainly admirable, to say the least. Mrs Antonello's career, I am informed, began in 1979 in her role as a community development officer with the Thebarton council. She played a vital role in leading the development of the multicultural dementia respite program with Domiciliary Care, Thebarton Mensa and, in conjunction with COTA, organised the first Italian seniors lunch.

Mrs Antonello has also worked alongside Italian regional clubs in providing many activities for aged members. She is also commended for being part of the Multicultural Communities Council Aged Care Committee, in which she was involved in establishing Ethnic Link Services. She also played a vital role in the development of the Italian meals service, where she was elected as chair and held the position for seven years. The list of accolades and achievements goes on. It is a very well-deserved award.

I would also like to acknowledge Mr Eddie Maio, recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award for 2017. He volunteers with PISA. He has assisted in delivering meals to the elderly and is known for his caring ways and dedication to helping the community. I would also like to thank and commend the 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award, which went to Mrs Genoveffa Paradiso for her outstanding contribution to the Italian community. She has been volunteering for Bene Aged Care for many years, and she still volunteers weekly for church service at the Italian Village and dedicates her time to assisting at the Catholic service for residents.

I would also like to touch briefly on the Sikh Society of South Australia's annual Vaisakhi dinner, which I attended recently and which took place at the Sicilia Club. We all know that the Sikh community in South Australia is an enthusiastic group and that they do a wonderful job of showcasing and sharing their traditions and culture with us in South Australia. Their annual dinner was a great success and a wonderful opportunity to embrace the cultural diversity in South Australia. I would like to thank the Sikh Society of South Australia and also the volunteers and all the acts and performances, and the people who took part in those, who made the evening such a great success.

Recently, I also had the pleasure of attending the Young Druze Professionals graduation. This year was their 22nd annual graduation night in association with the Australian Unitarian Druze Community Inc. I would particularly like to thank the chairperson of the SA Young Druze Professionals, Mr Saad Naddaf, and Mr Akram Bou Diab, chairperson of the Australian Druze Community, for all their ongoing hard work. I especially congratulate all the secondary and tertiary graduates. Many congratulations to those students who have graduated from university and high school. It is a truly excellent achievement and I wish them all the very best for their future endeavours.